With New Orleans being such a saturated
hub for soulful Rock & Roll, it’s a definite sign that a band has a
good thing going when it breaks through the dense competition and onto
the radar of fans across the country.
Over the past five years, Broncho has ridden its love of ’70s Punk and ’80s Indie Rock to a press kit full of praise and the kind of fairly high-profile song placements that couldn’t help but broaden its loyal fan base.
It’s oddly wonderful how sometimes two
songwriters will interpret the same concept in diametrically opposed
fashions. For example, consider Pharrell Williams and Marina Diamandis,
both of whom have very powerful songs called “Happy.”
A little over a year ago, 88-year-old
Bluegrass Hall of Famer Ralph Stanley called me as he was mourning the
loss of his long-time guitarist George Shuffler. Ralph and his brother
Carter made American Roots music history in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s as
The Stanley Brothers.
Having seen Shilpa Ray play in the early
morning hours after a fierce, chilling rainstorm at the outdoor
Nelsonville Music Festival in East Central Ohio, this writer can testify
that her tough and exciting voice can surmount any distraction around
her and kick-start listeners out of any weariness and make them pay
Identifying Charles Walker’s influences
doesn’t require prolonged exposure or intense examination. The Milwaukee
native grew up with a love of the Blues, Funk, Pop and Motown, as
evidenced by his devotion to Luther Allison, Prince and Stevie Wonder,
and the sound that he’s developed with his latest outfit, appropriately
tagged the Charles Walker Band.
If Robert Earl Keen and Kathleen Edwards
formed a Bluegrass/Americana duo and managed to retain their individual
identities while combining their collective talents into a distinct
third direction, they would sound a lot like Mandolin Orange.
The Infamous Stringdusters are one of the
more high-powered acts that exist on the fringes of Bluegrass music. Ten
years as a band, the Stringdusters have built up an impressive
following with albums and live shows that are upbeat, fun and fueled by
There is a sense of desolation and edgy
calm in The Antlers’ expansively compelling soundscapes. If you were
freezing to death on an Antarctic ice shelf, this is the music your
brain would spontaneously create to distract you from your imminent
The first time I heard FIDLAR, I was
parked on my couch holding my cellphone over my head and smiling like a
massive dork up at the screen. Some cute boy from OKCupid was sending me
links to YouTube videos from his favorite bands. The Skate Punk/Surf
Rock sounds of FIDLAR made up most of the list.